. . . with complete humility and gentleness, with patience, putting up with one another in love . . . Ephesians 4:2, TLV
Putting up with one another in love. Okay, I am chuckling here. The translators’ use of “putting up with one another in love” is awesome. We all know folks that annoy us — let’s be honest. They may be someone you sit across from at work or the guy who “steals” that parking spot or the person who won’t wear a mask or does wear a mask and looks down on us because we don’t or someone who sings offkey, loudly. For every human being on this planet there is an open playing field of irritation just waiting to test us.
. . . making every effort to keep the unity of the Ruach [Spirit] in the bond of shalom [peace]. (vs. 3, TLV)
How do we get to that place of complete humility, gentleness, and patience with these souls? For me — if I have any hope of finding that place — it begins with gratitude. Imagine our Heavenly Father watching our attitudes, antics, and actions, every second of every day. No doubt — no doubt — He’s observed many moments that could irritate Him. If our Father ever rolled His eyes and slapped His forehead, I’m confident He would regularly do that with each of us.
But to each one of us grace was given in keeping with the measure of Messiah’s gift. (vs. 7, TLV)
Because of our Savior’s atoning sacrifice, grace was given to us. How can we not give grace to others for acting out in ways we either did or still do?
Yeshua’s parable of the king and his slaves settling up their accounts is a vivid reminder of the importance of forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35). In many ways, it also applies to putting up with one another in love.
Then summoning the first slave, his master said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave all that debt because you pleaded with me. Wasn’t it necessary for you also to show mercy to your fellow slave, just as I showed mercy to you?’ (Matthew 18:32-33, TLV)
Today, when someone takes the last loaf of your favorite bread at Wal-Mart or continually interrupts you or forgets to take out the trash, take a breath. Pause and go to the place of gratitude for our Father’s loving patience with us. Then let the humility bear the fruits of gentleness, patience, and love.
If we can practice that each day, I have to believe it will get easier. We just have to have patience.